LAFF 2007

Robert Koehler and I are both planning to attend this year’s LAFF, and as of this afternoon, it looks like I’ve been granted press credentials for the festival, so I plan on writing about a decent share of films. (And rewatching a few favorites, such as Honor of the Knights, Times and Winds, Syndromes and a Century, and Paraguayan Hammock.) With everyone lamenting the death of newspapers–premature though it may be–it amazes me that serious bloggers continue to get shut out of many festivals. I know I’m not the only cinephile who considers the internet my lifeblood for festival news and commentary, so we can only hope festivals continue to adapt to such cultural developments as quickly as possible. Thanks go to the LAFF publicity office for being ahead of the curve. Here’s Robert’s fine list of recommendations. –Doug

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By Robert Koehler

A SHORT GUIDE TO THE LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL

In response to a number of filmgoers and cinephiles in the Los Angeles area who are trying to determine what to catch in the Los Angeles Film Festival, here’s a list of films that are well worth searching out. I’ve broken them down into three categories: Word-of-Mouth, Recommended and Must-See. The former include films I haven’t seen, but can suggest based on positive comments at previous festivals or the pedigree of the filmmakers involved. The latter includes what I’d deem as LAFF’s superior films including a few masterpieces, such as Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century. Though some, such as Syndromes, have U.S. distribution in place (Strand Releasing, in this case), I make no mention of these in the following list.

WORD-OF-MOUTH

“Ad Lib Night” (Lee Yoon-ki, S.Korea)
“The Cool School” (Morgan Neville, US)
“The Death of Klinghoffer” (Penny Woolcock, UK)
“Dynamite Warrior” (Chalerm Wongpim, Thailand)
“The Elephant and the Sea” (Woo Ming Jin, Malaysia)
“Exiled” (Johnnie To, China)
“Half Moon” (Bahman Ghobadi, Iran/Iraq)
“The Hottest State”(Ethan Hawke, US)
“Lady Chatterley” (Pascale Ferran, France/Belgium)
“The Last Winter” (Larry Fessenden, US)
“Marilena from P7” (Cristian Nemescu, Romania)
“Moliere” (Laurent Tirard, France)
“Sunshine” (Danny Boyle, UK)
“Trigger Man” (Ti West, US)

RECOMMENDED

“Cat Dancers” (Harris Fishman, US)
“Dry Season” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad)
“It’s Winter” (Rafi Pitts, Iran)
“Join Us” (Ondi Timoner, US)
“Love for Sale” (Karim Ainouz, Brazil)
“Miracle Mile” (Steve De Jarnatt, US)
“My Best Friend” (Patrice Leconte, France)
“Night of the Comet” (Thom Eberhardt, US)
“Resolved” (Greg Whiteley, US)
“Salty Air” (Alessandro Angelini, Italy)
“The Year After” (Isabelle Czajka, France)
“Young@Heart” (Stephen Walker, UK)

MUST-SEE

“A Christmas Story” (Bob Clark, US)
“Copacabana” (Martin Rejtman, Argentina)
“The Elephant Man” (David Lynch, US/UK)
“Everything Will Be OK” (Don Hertzfeldt, US–short in shorts program 4)
“Fireworks Wednesday” (Asghar Farhadi, Iran)
“Great World of Sound” (Craig Zobel, US)
“Honor of the Knights” (Albert Serra, Spain)
“I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone” (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/Malaysia)
“Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten” (Julien Temple, Ireland/UK)
“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (John Ford, US)
“The Naked Kiss” (Sam Fuller, US)
“Opera Jawa” (Garin Nugroho, Indonesia)
“The Paper Will Be Blue” (Radu Muntean, Romania)
“Paraguayan Hammock” (Paz Encina, Paraguay)
“Sicko” (Michael Moore, US)
“Straight Time” (Ulu Grosbard, US)
“Syndromes and a Century” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
“Them!” (Gordon Douglas, US)
“Times and Winds” (Reha Erdem, Turkey)
“Triple Agent ” (Eric Rohmer, France)

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